Prebiotic Galacto-oligosaccharides Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Iron Fortification on the Gut Microbiome: A Randomised Controlled Study in Kenyan Infants

Some studies have shown that while micronutrient powder (MNP) with iron has been effective in reducing anemia, it has also caused an increase in harmful effects for the gut microbiome, including enteropathogens, diarrhea, and respiratory tract infections (RTIs). This four-month long randomized controlled trial examined the risk of adverse effects and efficacy of a new MNP formula with prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) combined with a low dose of iron (5 mg/day) in Kenyan infants, as compared to MNP with only a low-dose iron and an MNP without iron. The addition of GOS to the low-iron-dose MNP was effective in reducing anemia while reducing intestinal damage and RTIs, when compared to low-iron-dose MNP.

Paganini, D., et. al., Gut (November 2017).